Kihnu with only some 600 hundred inhabitants is a small island 40 km (25 ml) southwest of the west coast of Estonia. Because of its relative isolation from the mainland, especially during the winter months, it has retained its old culture remarkably well. In 2003 Unesco declared the Kihnu Cultural Space a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
Visiting Kihnu feels almost like entering a living historical museum. Also nature friends will find it interesting and enchanting. Most travelers come to Kihnu just for one day but there are a few modest accommodation options as well. You won't have to starve either as food on Kihnu (as everywhere in Estonia) is certainly hearty enough!
Car ferry "Amalie", our ride to the island.
Fishing boats in Kihnu harbour.
One option for sight-seeing is to take an organized tour on
a Russian-built truck.
We prefer the freedom bicycles offer, however. There is a shop renting
rugged single-gear bikes close to the harbour. They also give
customers a map of Kihnu.
Traditional farm house.
Striking contrast of colors, to say the least.
Typical back road.
We were relieved when this free-running dog turned out to be really friendly.
Bellflowers are a common sight in Kihnu.
So is Sweet William and an abundance of other plant life.
Russian Orthodox church.
Russian-made motorcycle with sidecar.
Wonder if this DIY repair work is going to last?
There are a few small village shops on the island, enough to keep you
supplied with snacks and drinks...
Kihnu lighthouse is on the southernmost tip of the island. It was built in
England and brought to Kihnu in dismounted pieces.
Desolate shores at the lighthouse... Except for a few stray travelers like our own Liz.
Traditional farming including sheep-, cattle- and horse-breeding is an important livelihood on Kihnu, as is fishing. Kihnu’s fishermen have been given favourable quotas and subsidies for
processing the fish by the state.
Typical farm house.
Old tractor with a mower.
Working the fields in the old way.
A common sight: cows grazing in a forest.
Sheep grazing in a grove. Perfect rustic idyll!
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